UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor is not only a word class fighter, he’s also an astute business man. Over the course of his UFC career – which is now just over three years old – the Irish superstar has set and reset dozens of money-related records.
In March of this year, for example, he became the first fighter in UFC history to earn a disclosed purse of $1 million. And though that record was broken just months later by Brock Lesnar’s $2.5 million dollar UFC 200 purse, McGregor quickly reclaimed his status as the UFC’s highest-paid fighter with a massive, $3 million dollar disclosed payday for his UFC 202 rematch with Nate Diaz.
These numbers, of course, represent just a small portion of what McGregor earns per fight, as he also receives a sizeable slice of the the pay-per-view pie. UFC 202, for example, which broke all previous UFC pay-per-view sale records, is believed to have earned the Irishman more than $15 million.
And then of course, there are the fighter’s lucrative ventures outside the world of fighting, the most recent of which is a role in an upcoming Call of Duty release, which surely earned him a pretty penny.
Needless to say, McGregor is an extremely well-paid fighter.
Just how much the Irish superstar rakes in from year to year, however, is difficult to discern. Luckily, one MMA reporter was recently brave enough to ask him, and McGregor was proud enough to answer. The 2016 income question was raised at the official press conference for UFC 205 – a card that will be headlined by a potentially history-making showdown between McGregor and lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez.
“I feel by the time 2016 closes out, I’ll be closing in on $40 million,” McGregor admitted when asked how much he expected to make by the time 2016 is over. “This is a $40 million year for me. A damn good year. [Alvarez] is very lucky to be in the position he’s in. He understands that. That’s why he took this fight on the money he was on the last fight. That says it all. He’s broke and he’s desperate and he’s trying to make it, ‘McGregor’s this, McGregor’s that.’ We’ve heard it all before. He’s just another broke bum that can’t afford to pay his bills. That’s all it is.”
For most of MMA history this kind of money making has been more or less unheard of. McGregor’s transcendent superstardom and business savvy, however, are quickly changing that. He is beginning to earn the kind of massive paydays typical of the world’s top boxers, and is paving the way for other mixed martial artists to start earning the same.
What do you think of McGregor’s massive paydays? Sound off, PENN nation!